19 Jan 2023

Dangerous new fake LSD 25B-NBOH worries Drug Foundation

10:20 am on 19 January 2023
A potent psychedelic and stimulant, 25B-NBOH, has been seen being sold as tabs of LSD.

A potent psychedelic and stimulant, 25B-NBOH, has been seen being sold as tabs of LSD. Photo: Supplied / NZ Drug Foundation

The Drug Foundation is worried that a dangerous drug discovered at a music festival may still be in the community.

Drug testing at the Rhythm and Vines festival revealed some paper tabs sold as LSD were in fact another drug, 25B-NBOH.

Drug Foundation chief executive Sarah Helm told Morning Report 25B-NBOH was a psychedelic and stimulant that was very active in small doses, so it could easily cause drug overdose or fatalities.

"And it can also create psychosis and has been tragically associated with suicides globally."

Helm said the foundation still did not know how widely the drug was available in New Zealand.

"When we were at Rhythm and Vines our team who are testing substances for people received four different samples of it and they each had come from different areas and they had different visual aesthetics, little pieces of blotting paper."

The foundation was concerned the drug could be in a number of regions and some could still be in the community, she said.

Anyone with the drug should get it checked either through a Drug Foundation service or using a test kit which can be purchased, she said.

"Failing that if it's bitter, it's a spitter - don't take it if it has a taste."

The drug testing at Rhythm and Vines had potentially saved people's lives - not only the four people who had the testing done but their mates, she said.

"We also have behind us an early warning system run out of the National Drug Intelligence Bureau that monitors things like hospitalisations and so forth."

Generally when people discovered that they had a drug that was more potent they would choose not to take it, or at least if they were better informed they could be more cautious when they did take it, Helm said.

There was a lack of regulation in the area and there was an incentive on the black market to come up with new potent substances to get around the law, she said.

"So that is what's creating ongoing different substances coming over the border - and these drugs are much more dangerous than the drugs that people are seeking out."

LSD was a relatively harmless drug and its main danger was what could be used as a substitute for it, Helm said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs